Richard Carnes: Kid skiers from Vail handle heckler with a laugh |

Richard Carnes: Kid skiers from Vail handle heckler with a laugh

Richard Carnes
Vail, CO, Colorado

“Hey look, it’s the snotty rich kids from Vail!”

Not exactly the glowing “Hey, what up, dudes?” the kids were probably expecting (and where, for some bizarre reason, this generation decided verbs are no longer needed), but something they should be used to by now.

Besides, there are much funnier ways to make booger jokes.

Such is the life, from time to time, for the young men and women racing for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, as they travel from ski area to ski area throughout the season.

These kids are quite literally mini-ambassadors for Happy Valley, and when I witnessed this particular exchange (through the eyes of my son), the 9- and 10-year-old Vail boys handled it perfectly — with laughter.

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What else could they possibly say?

Sure, some of us are indeed wealthy, and most of us are not.

But the stigma of “Vail” lingers anywhere from a billionaire convicted of fraud, to a reality TV star couple (almost) too sweet to be true, to a spoiled trust funder who just happens to have talent and everything in between.

Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of it is complete nonsense, but like all unfair stereotypes, there are always a few grains of truth somewhere in the bag.

Most of the Vail racers at this age don’t understand the material difference between $10 and $1 million, but they can sure tell the difference between another racer trying to be a friend or an intimidating twit.

But I don’t blame the little twit for his failed attempt at a booger-laced insult, as it all falls squarely on the parent making the initial remark, which is where the little twit heard it in the first place.

Misplaced jealousy is a long road with no stop sign for some.

Anyway, this past weekend was spent in Purgatory (no pun, I swear) down by Durango, and except for the aforementioned incident, was as nice a place as we’ve ever had the pleasure to whoop up on as a ski team.

And man, did we ever whoop. We’re talking major league whoopage.

In one race, involving over 40 kids, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail placed all eight of its racers in the top 10.

That, ladies and gentlemen, at the risk of sounding proudly arrogant, is an impressive feat.

But winning is only a small part of what the coaches and parents are attempting to teach on these trips. As unofficial ambassadors of Vail, they have a duty to represent everything we stand for as an international ski destination and a community, and luckily for us, they do it with the style and grace befitting the place we call home.

To that regard, each of us share similar responsibilities whenever we cross Eagle County borders, but for some reason my wife says I make the best impression when my mouth is shut.

I suppose she’s referring to my skiing ability while wearing a Vail jacket, which speaks volumes on its own, I’m sure.

But just in case I say something deemed “inappropriate” by the masses, I just make sure everyone knows I’m from Aspen.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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